GU Medical Center Creates Post-Cancer Survival Manual

Researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center and the Lombardi Cancer Center recently created a survival manual for former childhood cancer patients, hoping to emphasize the far-reaching effects of cancer treatment in the years after therapy.

A group of oncologists, nurses, social workers and other medical professionals tailored the manual specifically for each child recovering from cancer treatment, according to a GUMC press release.

The manual advises patients and their parents about transitioning from recovery to sound health and provides a personal health care record with an education guide about the long-term effects of treatment.

“The end of cancer treatment is a time of strong emotions for patients and families. Celebration is often mixed with anxiety and loss of security,” said Aziza Shad, author of the manual and chief of the division of pediatric hematology-oncology at Lombardi and Georgetown Hospital in a press release. “Most families feel overwhelmed and have many questions about the future.”

Shah emphasized the importance of post-treatment support for patients throughout recovery. “Patients must demand follow up,” she said. “[Surviving child cancer patients] will no longer walk away and [be told], `Go back to your pediatrician.'”

Hundreds of patients have already undergone treatment using the advice of the manual. According to Shad, children have been coming to the Lombardi Cancer Center from other institutions in the United States and around the globe.

“We hope this book will ease the transition for patients and families from active treatment to follow-up care,” Shad said in the press release.

– Matthew Zuckerman

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